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American Airlines to buy 20 of Boom’s supersonic passenger jets

With an eye on cutting some of its international journey times in half, American Airlines has agreed to a deal with Boom Supersonic to purchase 20 of its in-development Overture aircraft, with an option to buy a further 40 planes further down the track.

Take a look around the production Overture design — optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability.

— Boom Supersonic (@boomaero) August 5, 2022

American has paid a non-refundable deposit on its initial order of 20 Overture jets, which are designed to fly at twice the speed of today’s commercial airliners. The terms of the deal mean that before any of the planes can be delivered, Colorado-based Boom will need to meet various criteria, including industry-standard operating, performance, and safety requirements, along with other standard conditions set by American.

The deal surpasses the one inked by United Airlines last year when the carrier placed an initial order of 15 Overture jets with an option to buy an additional 35 later on.

The Overture is designed to fly between 65 and 80 passengers at 65,000 feet and at a speed of Mach 1.7 — just over 1,300 mph. With a nautical range of 4,250 miles, American could fly the Overture from San Francisco to Tokyo in a mere six hours, Miami to London in just under five hours, and Los Angeles to Honolulu in three hours.

According to Boom, the Overture will also become the first large commercial aircraft that’s net-zero carbon, flying on 100% sustainable fuel.

“Looking to the future, supersonic travel will be an important part of our ability to deliver for our customers,” Derek Kerr, American’s chief financial officer, said in a release. “We are excited about how Boom will shape the future of travel both for our company and our customers.”

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom, said his company was “proud to share our vision of a more connected and sustainable world with American Airlines.”

Last month, Boom unveiled the final production design of its Overture jet, which it hopes will begin serving paying passengers by the end of this decade. Test flights could begin as early 2025, but in the meantime, Boom will continue testing its one-third-scale Overture prototype, the XB-1, which is expected to take its first flight in the next few months.

With two major orders from two heavyweight carriers in the space of 14 months, Boom will be more confident than ever about its ambitious plan to return supersonic passenger flights to the skies within the next eight years.

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